Given the importance of the English language as a subject, common sense demands that students should perform well in it.
The fact that English language is the most important subject in the secondary school curriculum is incontestable. To be able to understand his or her teachers in all other subjects effectively, a secondary school student requires at least fair knowledge of the English language. Little wonder that English language is referred to as the key to all other subjects. To be eligible for admission to universities and other higher institutions of learning secondary school student must pass English language at credit or distinction level. English is the sole medium of communication in the university communities.
Given the importance of the English language as a subject, common sense demands that students should perform well in it. the statistics of results from West African Examination Council (WAEC) however reveal that year in year out. Only fewer than thirty percent of candidate who write English language in this very important (WAEC) examination pass that credit or distinction level. What a shameful and painful revelation owing to this ugly situation. Department of English in some Colleges of Education have established Pre-English programme for the benefit of some of the candidates that could not pass it at the ordinary level stage.
I believe that there are some factors that cause poor performances of students in English language. This will be discussed below.
1. Some so called English Language teachers are not academically qualified to teach it. They do not teach it well, as they are not specialists in the field of study. They are graduates of other discipline, who took to teaching English language because they could not find even teaching appointment in their respective disciplines.
2. Some students are to some extent responsible for the fact that they perform poorly in English language. They do not even practice the habit of speaking simple and correct English always—– they always speak pidgin English, even when they ask their English language teachers questions about their lessons. This has in fact landed some of them in trouble before their teachers. There are some students who do not buy the recommended English language textbooks for their studies and some students among those who buy theirs do not make effective use of the books.
3. Lastly, most parents and teachers of other subjects who are seen as models by students often discuss with them in wrong English. There are causes of teachers who commit unpardonable grammatical errors when teaching. Some parents who are university graduates make such mistakes as “stop making noise”, “off the light”, “so therefore” etc when interacting with their children. Students generally take such wrong expressions for correct ones and they go a long way to affect their performance in their English language examinations.